Monday, June 8, 2009

City mouse, country mouse

This past weekend my choir took part in a 4-choir concert. We had one concert in Montreal on Saturday and another on Sunday in an older off-island town about 70km away. So on Sunday afternoon, I drove up with three others. We arrived nice and early, so some of us went off to the dépanneur (convenience store) across from the cathedral to get some snacks. It was located on a street corner in rather a large building for a convenience store; evidently the building had once served some other purpose, perhaps a bank. By instinct we headed to the door on the corner of two sidewalks. It was locked shut with merchandise piled up inside the door, yet the business was obviously open judging by the activity inside.

We were baffled for a few moments, but then I figured it out. We weren't in a big city any more. Why would the entry be close to the sidewalk when there was a parking lot on the other side of the building? And there indeed was the entry, with automatic (motorized) doors to boot.

Why walk if you can drive, and why open doors with your own human strength: is this how the other half lives? It's really not so urban-exclusive, though, as many of my urban colleagues at work take the elevator rather than take the opportunity for 1 to 2 flights of exercise on the stairs.

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